From the Editor

From Parameters, Spring 2000, pp. 2-3.

Go to Spring issue Table of Contents.

In This Issue . . .

Ralph Peters analyzes three variations of "human architecture" associated with interventions in urban areas. This revolutionary and engaging analysis redirects the planner's traditional focus on terrain to one incorporating a population's attitudes and allegiances. The author postulates it is the people and their complexity that will determine the success or failure of military interventions and not the physical environment.

Timothy L. Thomas provides the first of three articles in this issue examining the aftermath of Kosovo. His insightful review of the contribution of information superiority to Operation Allied Force challenges heralded claims of success. He adroitly highlights that although NATO and the United States did almost everything right in terms of information warfare they were basically unopposed in their efforts. The author goes on to explain why it is critical that we analyze the question, "Why is information superiority a dangerous myth?"

John A. Tokar takes a retrospective look at Kosovo and its effect on the future application of power and US foreign policy. The author's contrast of the post-Kosovo era with the US experience following Vietnam presents numerous questions for future leaders. For example, what conditions allowed staunch ideological enemies to achieve harmony on an issue so divisive as Kosovo? What effects will Operation Allied Force have on the future of the military and its role in foreign policy? Does the very nature of democratic societies dictate what the author terms "culture war?"

Robert Tomes explores the foundations of international law to provide a sensing of right or wrong in the conduct of Operation Allied Force. His insightful review of the jus cogens argument to support such intervention raises numerous challenges to the status quo. Are gross violations of human rights sufficient to require the introduction of military force by an external power? Will military force be the preferred means by which ethnopolitical strife is resolved in the future? These are but a few of the issues the author leaves the reader pondering.

James E. Goodby and Kenneth Weisbrode provide a contrast between the concepts of globalization and democracy vis-à-vis US national interests as the foundation for US foreign policy. Their look at the values and domestic priorities of the American public as a source of US foreign policy is profound.

David E. Snodgrass provides the first of two articles dealing with the bureaucratic dilemma--is it process or product that ensures the best possible strategy and force structure? His look back at the 1997 Report of the Quadrennial Defense Review is an in-depth examination of the process and the product. His recommendations provide a framework outlining a more objective and fact-based review process.

Ralph R. Steinke and Brian L. Tarbet provide the second examination of process over product in their review of the requirement for combatant commanders to develop Theater Engagement Plans (TEPs). The authors challenge that unless changes are made at the national level to better integrate these plans, TEPs will (or have) become nothing more than a bureaucratic requirement.

John F. Troxell reviews US national security policy and the associated decisionmaking process in his examination of the antipersonnel landmine debate. As a former member of the CINC staff dealing with the tactical impact of the debate, he provides a practical examination of an emotion-charged issue. The author investigates the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in crafting the debate, in the refinement of policy, and in national decisionmaking. How should the United States balance humanitarian issues and national security concerns?

Donald W. Boose, Jr., analyzes the rationale underpinning the Korean War truce talks. The author's analysis of the role played by external actors in the process provides new insight as to who was ultimately responsible for the cessation of hostilities, and why. His review of the negotiating process and the associated strategy provides guidance for the termination of limited wars.

Martin L. Cook examines the sensitive and vital relationship between morality and military service. His contrast of "the ethics of military service" and "ethics in military service" provides the reader with an understanding of what's required to assure the American people that the military is deserving of their trust. The author postulates that only by maintaining the connection and trust between the populace and the military can military service remain an honorable and respected profession of arms capable of attracting the best from society.

Review Essays include Lawrence G. Kelley's "Afghanistan Revisited" and Russell W. Ramsey's "Strategic Reading on Latin America." Both provide insights on regions having dramatic corollaries with present-day events. Lawrence Kelley's review raises an eerie semblance to the ongoing events in Chechnya, while Russell Ramsey's sixth annual review of strategic writings on Latin America serves to validate US strategy during the last half century.

Madigan Awards . . .

Colonel John J. Madigan III (1936-1999) served as editor of Parameters from March 1993 to January 1999. During that time he challenged colleagues, faculty, and students to write for publication, and he worked tirelessly with writers from throughout academia and the defense establishment to improve the quality of writing. In 1999 the annual US Army War College staff and faculty writing awards were renamed the Colonel John J. Madigan III USAWC Staff and Faculty Published Writing Awards. They are less formally known as the Madigan Awards. In December the Madigan Awards were presented for the first time. The name will honor the contributions of this unique individual to the Army War College, his colleagues, and his profession, and serves as a lasting tribute to a truly remarkable man. -- RHT

Go to Spring issue Table of Contents.

Go to Parameters home page.

Reviewed 8 February 2000. Please send comments or corrections to